We haven’t heard much of Sinead O’Connor since that fateful night on SNL when she rattled the Catholic Church with her defiant display of disdain for child sexual assault at the hands of priests. The results were cataclysmic for her hot like fire career and she fell from the top 40 club’s radar with a resounding thump. However, she never stopped recording or advocating the rights of children to live in a world free of abuse. It just wasn’t news anymore. So while some find her latest release as just another in a long line of stands the Irish songwriter has taken over the years, others are sitting around wondering where the hell she’s been. The youngest of the listeners may even be thinking Sinead who?
Well know her or not, she’s not only back, she’s back with Mary J Blige, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Martin “Doc” Mckinney and a single called “This is to Mother You.” And yes, this single is for sale, but not for profit. All proceeds are going to be funneled straight to an organization called GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services.) According to GEMS website, “Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) is the nation’s largest organization empowering girls and young women, ages 12-21, which have experienced sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential.” It’s obvious the group means every word of that because there is a 3rd feature on this release, Martha B, and she’s one of their own.
Per the website, Martha is a survivor of the abuse GEMS was created to fight. She matriculated through the program and at 21 she and her melodic voice were in the studio with Ms. Blige and Mr. Muhammad to make this record a reality.
The track is calm and quiet. It starts in almost lullaby-ish fashion with slow strings and a keyboard that’s reminiscent of a music box. It’s obvious from the jump that the song was written and produced as a reassurance for the young girls GEMS works for.
The lyrics cast the song as a labor of love. It’s a melodic call to the children the organization seeks to save from a system that has forgotten them. They speak of lonely nights, sad dreams, feelings of abandonment, and suppressing the fire in these children’s souls born of the worst kind of abuse. The lyrics also convey their attention and desire to rescue these children from that life.
All the pain that you have known
All the violence in your soul
All the ‘wrong’ things you have done
I will take from you when I come
There are no dramatic runs from any of the three singers, just a steady pulse. O’Connor leads off then hands the baton to Mary J. Martha brings up the rear. And all three, through their tranquil demeanor and tender lyrics communicate the same thing: We are here for you.
Stories like that of 5-year old Shaniya Davis, who was allegedly sold into sexual slavery only to be found dead on the side of the road, have rocked the thoughtful. While we scratch our heads and believe these events to be shocking and uncommon, the people at GEMS realize that’s not the case. According to their website “each year in our nation, between 100,000 and 300,000 American children – primarily girls – are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation.”
This song doesn’t have a destination for mad spins. It’s not romantic nor is it going to get people out on the dance floor. It’s not for the car culture elitist to thump and it’s not going to get remixed or freestyled over. What it is however, is a call for those who claim to care to put their money where their mouth is.
So as you color code your AV’s and shirt selections for each day, huff and puff at your mother for being nosey or laying down impossible rules, or watch a few minutes of the news in horror just to spend the rest of your day keeping count of Tiger’s mistresses or Ambers Rose’s shades of lip gloss, know that this problem is not an uncommon enigma. Sinead O’Connor along with the good people at GEMS are on the front lines trying to keep some of these children safe, and their latest attempt is a gathering of talent who are there donating their time to do just that.
This Is To Mother You This Is To Mother You
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